Despite featuring big market teams, three of the first four NHL conference final games have suffered declines in viewership compared to last year.
Game 2 of the Devils/Rangers NHL Eastern Conference final drew 1.342 million viewers on NBC Sports Network Wednesday night, down 14% from Bruins/Lightning Game 2 on a Tuesday night last year (1.562M), but up 9% from Canadiens/Flyers Game 2 on a Tuesday night in 2010 (1.228M).
Wednesday’s game was also down 22% from Hurricanes/Penguins Game 2 on a Thursday night in 2009 (1.725M).
On Tuesday night, Game 2 of the Kings/Coyotes Western Conference final drew just 835,000 viewers — down 1% from Sharks/Canucks Game 2 on a Wednesday night last year (847K), and down 43% from Blackhawks/Sharks Game 2 on a Tuesday night in 2010 (1.467M).
So far, the only conference final telecast to have an increase from last year was Sunday’s Kings/Coyotes Game 1.